Have you ever experienced a situation where your vendor didn’t deliver the expected output? Frustrating and time-wasting, wasn’t it? The problems associated with miscommunication with your vendor causes delays in your projects. Which in turn leads to unplanned increases in the annual marketing spend of your company. Proper communication can help you grow your business in the long term. While we cannot avoid all the possible problems that you might encounter with your vendors, here are a few important communication tips you can use to maximize the results.
1. Do not assume your vendors are the expert.
The biggest misconception when communicating with your vendor is assuming that your vendor knows everything. Even if your vendor has worked for you on many projects before, new issues come up depending on the project that you’re currently working on. Always make sure that you fully explain the details of your project. Give specific instructions to your vendor especially when it comes to the layout, materials, and final expected output. This way, you can be assured you are on the same page, thus avoiding the hassle of reprinting due to unwanted errors in printed design.
2. Be sensitive to differences in technical/ business knowledge.
One good way to build a lasting relationship with your vendors is to understand the difference in the technical knowledge of your company and theirs. Every business has its own technical expertise. When it comes to the nitty-gritty details of printers, printing materials and print-ready layouts, it’s best to consult vendors to provide guidance on how to efficiently design your marketing materials. Don’t be afraid to ask your vendors questions especially if they are considered an expert in the specific field or industry. And of course, your vendors are expected to do the same.
3. Use analogies to explain technical concepts.
When introducing a project or concept that might not be very common try and use analogies so that your vendor can easily grasp the information that you’re pouring on to them. You can cite examples that are similar to what you are describing or simply replace highly technical words with words that are more familiar to your vendor.
4. Keep your vendors informed.
Sudden changes are inevitable especially when it comes to the design of marketing materials. Good communication with your vendor throughout the whole process is important to have a high quality and accurate output. If there are any changes, contact your vendor and let them know the changes immediately to avoid the waste of time and money.
5. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
Due to the nature of the design process, vendors might encounter delays in the printing process. Instead of getting all fired up, try to be as calm as possible. Be open to the factors that affect the delay such as time to upload files, application of new changes, and availability of printing materials. Understanding and sharing a positive attitude during those times can go a long way in building a relationship with your vendors.
6. Save the ASAPs for when you really need them.
As a client, we understand that you want to get the output as early as you can. Instead of demanding to get the job done ASAP, work with your vendor and see if there’s anything that you can do to shorten the time required for the job. If there’s a sudden change with your deadline, let your vendor know it so they can adjust with it. Use ASAP responsibly and only when the situation requires it.
Let’s face it, communication is the most complex thing we do in our lives – both personally and professionally. We hope that the tips above will help you maximize the results with your vendors and if they happen to help you in other facets of your life as well, fantastic. At Made For Print we pride ourselves on the relationships we have been able to build with our clients. Please connect us today so we can get to know one another better!